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Pandaria's First Big Patch Brings War Back To Warcraft

As a child, one of my first Real Person (read: PC) games was Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. Back in those days, the Horde and Alliance, well, they didn't like each other so much. There was, I suppose you could say, a whole lot less crafting and a rather sizable helping of war. But times have changed, and so has the world of Warcraft. For one, it grew a world. That's fairly significant. But with rather unpleasant-sounding crusades and apocalypse dragons came a certain level of necessary chumminess between the warring factions. According to Blizzard, however, Mists of Pandaria's first major update is about to (finally) change all of that.

Patch 5.1's looking to have some pretty serious meat on its kung-fu-capable ursine bones, but this bit's definitely the standout:

"While members of the Horde and the Alliance have been busy exploring the exotic continent of Pandaria, Garrosh and Varian have been gathering their forces in preparation for the struggle to exert the influence of the Horde and the Alliance over these long-lost lands."

"Players who have quested through Pandaria will find Horde and Alliance expeditions arriving in force on the shores of the unspoiled continent, bringing the tensions between these factions to the fore. New daily quest hubs and faction reputations will be available to adventurers eager to do their part in the brewing conflict."

Admittedly, daily quests don't exactly scream "earth-splitting war," but Blizzard claims this is only the beginning of something far larger. In the meantime, patch 5.1 also includes a solo PVE "Brawler's Guild," pet battle improvements, the ability to upgrade items with Valor Points, and a continuation of the quest for legendary loot.

Patch 5.1 is apparently heading to the public test realms "soon," and it seems like quite the thing - at least, by WoW standards. But I suppose that's kind of the issue at this point: are "WoW standards" good enough anymore? With the likes of Guild Wars 2 and its modern genre compatriots currently taking the (non-Warcraft) world by storm, has it become difficult for you, hypothetical longtime WoW resident, to care? I've heard that Mists of Pandaria is actually quite good, but these days, is that enough?

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